Pass Medicaid Expansion Now

Dear Editor,

As a person of faith, I feel called to speak to the moral urgency of closing the healthcare coverage gap. Medicare expansion: decreases premature deaths in folks ages 55-64; increases prescriptions filled for heart disease, mental health, diabetes and other conditions (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities); increases early detection of life threatening diseases (Kaiser Family Foundation); helps rural hospitals stay open; reduces uninsured folks showing up for emergency care because it’s their only option (CBPP).

Medicaid expansion also increases the number of folks getting medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, reducing opioid deaths by 6 percent (KFF).  And it reduces the disparities in health care access between different groups within our community (KFF).

Six hundred thousand North Carolinians, including 30,000 veterans, will gain these benefits with Medicaid expansion.  Health for our citizens is a moral imperative.

Nine years of study and dithering is more than enough.  Every day we wait more folks needlessly suffer illness, death and medical debt.  Sen Berger and Speaker Moore, stop playing political games with people’s lives.  Let’s pass Medicaid expansion now!

Kimberly Thornton Scholl